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United Church of Canada Members Launch Campaign to Boycott Israeli Settlement Products

December 2, 2013

On December 3rd, the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI), a Network of United Church of Canada members and supporters, is launching a campaign in cities across Canada to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlements.

The December 3rd initiative of UNJPPI will involve news conferences and acts of public witness at retail stores such as Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Depot and the Bay that sell settlement products. Christmas shoppers will be made aware of Israeli settlement products and encouraged to refrain from buying these items.

“At Christmas we tell the story of the shepherds and wise men coming to see the baby Jesus in Bethlehem,” says the Rev. Brian McIntosh, a United Church minister who has been to Bethlehem and seen the human rights abuses that occur. “Today the Magi would hit a 30-foot high concrete wall around the city built on Palestinian land. The International Court of Justice ruled 14-1 that the wall and all Israeli settlements are illegal under the Geneva conventions.”

The initiatives by UNJPPI are in response to, and support of, the United Church of Canada’s Unsettling Goods Campaign to promote a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis. This campaign is the result of an August, 2012 decision by the General Council of the United Church of Canada that encouraged its members to “avoid any and all products produced in the settlements.” The campaign targets settlement products such as Sodastream home carbonation drink machines, Keter household items, and Ahava beauty products.

“We know Canadian consumers want to make ethical choices. Settlement products are unethical because they perpetuate illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. We want to help shoppers make informed choices this holiday season,” says McIntosh.

The United Church of Canada has expressed its concern to the major Canadian retailers named above that the sale of settlement products runs counter to their published corporate responsibility commitments.

Events in Toronto are as follows:
News Conference at 11:30 am at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East
Public Witness at the Canadian Tire at the south-east corner of Dundas and Bay Streets from 12:30 to 1:30 pm

For more information contact:
Rev. Brian McIntosh
UNJPPI – Toronto
Phone: 416-817-2606

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